Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Buttonbush budding

with 20 comments


Cephalanthus occidentalis; Cypress Creek Park; June 12; daylight flash with f/25 aperture.

To see what this would open out into, you can look back at a picture from 2013.


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In a commentary four days ago I gave several examples of the current federal administration trying to establish programs that on their face violate the U.S. Constitution or national laws. Administrations in some smaller jurisdictions think they can get away with lawlessness, too. In a recent example, New York City passed an ordinance that would have let some 800,000 legal residents who aren’t American citizens vote in local elections. In response, several citizens sued New York City, noting: “By dramatically increasing the pool of eligible voters, the Non-Citizen Voting Law will dilute the votes of United States citizens, including the Plaintiffs in this action.” This week a judge sided with the plaintiffs.

The judge wrote in his decision: “There is no statutory ability for the City of New York to issue inconsistent laws permitting non-citizens to vote and exceed the authority granted to it by the New York State Constitution. Though voting is a right that so many citizens take for granted, the City of New York cannot ‘obviate’ the restrictions imposed by the constitution.”

Last I heard, New York City is indeed still part of New York State, and therefore has to follow the laws of New York State. Given that reality, I did what the judge did and what the authorities in New York City either didn’t do or did and then ignored: I looked at the relevant part of New York State’s Constitution. Here’s what I found in Section 1 of Article II, which is devoted to suffrage:

Every citizen shall be entitled to vote at every election for all officers elected by the people and upon all questions submitted to the vote of the people provided that such citizen is eighteen years of age or over and shall have been a resident of this state, and of the county, city, or village for thirty days next preceding an election.

I put the word citizen in italics to emphasize it. Non-citizens, by definition, aren’t citizens. You’d think the authorities in New York City could understand the difference. Presumably they did understand the difference but chose to violate New York State’s Constitution anyhow. As I said, that’s lawlessness.


© 2022 Steven Schwartzman




Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 29, 2022 at 4:31 AM

Posted in nature photography

Tagged with , , ,

20 Responses

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  1. Look at all those eyes!

    Steve Gingold

    June 29, 2022 at 4:46 AM

  2. I see a lot of tiny faces looking back at you!


    June 29, 2022 at 6:07 AM

  3. What a surprising image. I’ve never seen such a thing; every one of my photos of this plant shows either the very tightly packed green buds or the fully blooming flower. My timing’s been off. I’m hoping to make it to east Texas this weekend, and I’ll watch for some flowers in this stage. These buds remind me of Caspar, the friendly ghost — especially the whiter ones seeming to rise up from out of the crowd.


    June 29, 2022 at 6:34 AM

    • I’d never caught this phase, either, so of course it grabbed me and wouldn’t let me pass without taking some pictures. Let’s hope you find it in east Texas this weekend, and perhaps also an emanation of Caspar.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 29, 2022 at 6:59 AM

      • I see buttonbush flowers here often too but never budded like this. I’ll be looking for these if it’s not too late.

        Steve Gingold

        June 29, 2022 at 7:14 AM

  4. The multitude of plants and flowers in your home state is almost overwhelming.

    Peter Klopp

    June 29, 2022 at 9:10 AM

  5. That’s such a fun plant. I’ve never seen something like it!

    Alessandra Chaves

    June 29, 2022 at 8:29 PM

  6. This unusual flower caught my eye … and it is even more striking when open!


    July 15, 2022 at 11:16 AM

  7. […] you remember the buttonbush buds, Cephalanthus occidentalis, from June 12th? On July 12th I was wandering along Bull Creek and found […]

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